Bey defense attorney calls first, only witness

May 4, 2011 1:40:31 PM PDT
The defense attorney for former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV called his first and only witness to the stand -- a former bakery employee who spoke for less than 20 minutes and never mentioned the name of Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey. Bailey was the journalist investigating the bakery.

Cornell Hurst called himself "the last man standing" to describe his loyalty to the now defunct bakery, saying he was the final person at the bakery before it shut its doors weeks after Bailey's 2007 murder.

Hurst told the jury he never saw any guns on the bakery premises and contradicted testimony from the prosecution's star witness by saying never heard any gunshots while working there with fellow bakery associate Devaughndre Broussard.

Outside court, Bey IV's lawyer said Hurst's testimony was meant to refute Broussard's testimony linking Bey to the murder of Michael Wills.

Attorney Gene Peretti said he does not intend to question any witnesses about Bailey's murder because he's going to "rely on the state of the evidence, which I think is lacking in that case." He said prosecutors "forgot to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that my client ordered three homicides and they haven't proved it after all these witnesses."

Prosecutors say Bey IV ordered Bailey's assassination because he planned to publish a story about the bakery's troubled finances.

He and fellow bakery associate Antoine Mackey have pleaded not guilty in the shooting death of Bailey and two other men.

Over the course of more than six weeks, Prosecutor Melissa Krum called nearly 70 witnesses and presented nearly 170 pieces of evidence.

Defense attorneys, on the other hand, could wrap up their case in a single day. Attorneys could give closing arguments next week.

For more on this story, tune into ABC7 News at 5 and 6 p.m.


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